A Wrinkle in Time

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The Black Thing Symbol Analysis

The Black Thing Symbol Icon
The antagonist of A Wrinkle in Time is the Black Thing (otherwise called the Darkness or the shadow or, in its incarnation on Camazotz, IT). The Black Thing represents Evil at work in the universe: it has taken over Camazotz entirely, which is referred to as a dark planet, and Earth is currently half taken over and looks like it is covered in a "smoky haze" from afar. Tessering through the Black Thing is also extremely painful. Through the Black Thing the novel shows how evil is hard to pin down or describe (the Black Thing is rather a vague description, after all), but one knows it when one sees it, as when the children see it partly blanketing their own world.
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The Black Thing Symbol Timeline in A Wrinkle in Time

The timeline below shows where the symbol The Black Thing appears in A Wrinkle in Time. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 4
Deceptive Appearances Theme Icon
Language and Knowing Theme Icon
...dark, terrifying shadow. When they return to the ground, Meg asks Mrs. Which if that Black Thing is what her father is fighting. (full context)
Chapter 5
Nonconformity Theme Icon
Deceptive Appearances Theme Icon
...have a "smoky haze" over it. This, as the children can guess, is the same Black Thing they saw covering the stars earlier. (full context)
Chapter 6
Christian References Theme Icon
...Whatsit did: she was once a star, and gave her life in the battle against the Black Thing , and is a star no longer. All the children look at Mrs. Whatsit with... (full context)
The Value of Love Theme Icon
...children. As sad as this sight is, Meg is only inspired even more to fight the Black Thing and rescue her father. (full context)
Chapter 7
Language and Knowing Theme Icon
...kind and gentle voice in their brains, though Meg senses with fear the presence of the Black Thing in him. The man's eyes have a strange red glow, and there's a light above... (full context)
Chapter 11
Deceptive Appearances Theme Icon
...to take Meg to heal her, since they reveal that they are also fighters against the Black Thing . They reveal that it is, in fact, tessering through the Black Thing that has... (full context)
Language and Knowing Theme Icon
Christian References Theme Icon
...planet Ixchel, which is in the same solar system as Camazotz, but which fights against the Black Thing . Aunt Beast then takes Meg to an open hall, where Calvin and Mr. Murry... (full context)